Monday, October 13, 2008

Burning Down the House

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Can YouTube videos and other alternative media make a difference?

A video presentation on the sequence of main events leading to our economic crisis has just come to my attention, one that goes into more detail than the short piece I shared here earlier.

Knowledge is power. Economics is a complex subject, but the tale told here is not hard to grasp.

When you click on this link you'll see there are 2 versions available. I advise clicking on the link and simply letting the default video run and ignoring the invitation to view the updated one where they tried a bit too hard, which actually reduces its impact. The original doesn't have the voice at the very beginning (very briefly), but after that the soundtrack is actually simpler and far better than the updated version, and the message more straightforward:

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The facts are all in place here. Beyond the sequence of events, viewers will note the tone of the piece is one of sympathy for the original goals of the democrats with their housing legislation, a tone adopted so the video could be more persuasive to those not predisposed to blaming their party. The decision to present the message this way is entirely understandable given the crucial upcoming election.

This sentiment echoes again near the end of the video when it briefly mentions Wall Street greed and emphasizes the many poor people who were cataclysmically effected when the behemoth endeavor imploded. Even upon several viewings my throat still tightens and my eyes water when the simple slide comes up: This is cruel. It's a powerful moment for everyone, but beyond that, the irony should give thoughtful democrats pause.

If the piece were to go further, it could legitimately expand its final message to include mention of how the implosion's fallout affected thousands of middle, upper middle, and higher income families as well, people who have been investing for years (often for their retirements) and saw huge portions of their portfolios vanish. They didn't deserve this travesty, either, and the aggregate loss will no doubt ripple through the economy for years to come.

But such a sentiment isn't the point of this particular video under the circumstances, and rightfully shouldn't be.

And finally, to review, here is a much shorter video that focuses on the roles played by congress, one I shared here a few days ago:

Thank you.

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